Former Revelstoke resident Daniel Levesque is seen in a lighter time. He died in an incident involving Josh Bredo in Victoria in 2011. Bredo pleaded guilty to manslaughter in Levesque’s death Monday morning in Victoria Law Court. Photo contributed

UPDATE: Accused pleads guilty to manslaughter in Daniel Levesque’s 2011 death

Joshua Bredo plea latest chapter in drawn-out case, family makes emotional statements in court

Tim Collins/Victoria News

Family members of Daniel Jordan Levesque gave emotional impact statements in Victoria Law Courts on Monday morning, after Joshua Bredo pled guilty to manslaughter in Leveseque’s death on Aug. 3, 2011.

“I am forever lost. Daniel had a pure heart. He helped everyone and never had an enemy in his life until he was killed by a man he thought was his friend,” said Levesque’s mother, Stacey Thur.

“No matter how hard I try, I will never be the person I once was,” she said, wiping tears from her eyes as Bredo sat behind her in the defendant’s box, his face expressionless.

Levesque’s father, Stephan, also spoke and said the lengthy court process had been devastating for his family and for the community. His voice cracking with emotion, he spoke about how his son’s death and the repeated court appearances had broken him, turning him into a different man.

When Levesque’s younger sister, Lainey, took the podium, the courtroom fell silent as she recounted how she was 12 when her brother died. “I have not had a restful sleep since Daniel died,” she said. “Nothing anyone can do can give me back my innocence.”

Bredo was originally charged with first-degree murder in December of 2012 and with sexual assault and unlawful confinement in 2013. The case ended in a mistrial in 2015 when Justice Malcolm Macauley discharged the jurors, indicating that he felt the case was not yet ready for trial, citing a series of unresolved issues.

In Monday’s hearing, Bredo’s lawyer, Tim Russell, and Crown counsel Paula Donnachie put forward a statement of facts in which Bredo acknowledged responsibility for Levesque’s death.

Bredo acknowledged he told Levesque a series of lies to lure him into a friendship, after hiring him at the 7-Eleven store at which Bredo was assistant manager. He told Levesque that two of his family members were lawyers in a high-powered law firm and that he had secured Levesque employment at the law firm. He said the orientation would take place in August 2011 with the job starting in September.

All of this was untrue.

Unbeknownst to Levesque, Bredo’s offer of friendship and the deceptions that followed had their basis in a sexual attraction he had developed for Levesque. Bredo confided in a text to a friend that he “was out with his str8t younger bud,” and that “he is str8t and thinks I am too, haha.”

On Aug. 3, 2011 Levesque went to meet Bredo at his apartment, believing that the law firm orientation would take place that day. He was told the orientation had been cancelled and Bredo shared some cocaine with Levesque, whom he had been supplying with the drug for three months.

According to the statement of facts, the two men argued, and Levesque told Bredo he wanted to leave, at which time Bredo prevented him from leaving and ultimately struck him several times with a hammer. The blows were sufficiently forceful to break the hammer’s handle.

At this point, Bredo panicked, moved the unconscious Levesque to the couch, then proceeded to get a kitchen knife and stab himself several times. He then placed the knife by Levesque’s hand. Bredo called 911 and claimed he had been the victim of an attack and needed to defend himself.

Bredo and Levesque were both transported to hospital, where Levesque died that day. Bredo’s wounds were assessed as superficial and he was released to police custody.

In the joint submission by Bredo’s counsel and Crown counsel, they called for the court to impose a sentence of just less than 10 years. Given the time Bredo has already spent in custody, that recommendation would result in an additional incarceration of slightly less than two additional years, which would place him in a provincial institution. A sentence of longer than two years would see him sent to a federal penitentiary.

The sentencing hearing for Bredo was put off until Tuesday at 2 p.m. potentially to be delivered Monday afternoon, after the News print deadline. See vicnews.com for full details.

editor@vicnews.com

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